Delightfully cosmopolitan and seductively swinging, Paris Combo is as diverse and sophisticated as the city from which the band hails. Combining Gypsy swing with elements of flamenco, chanson and alt-cabaret, the quintet mixes in Latin and North African rhythms for good measure. Holding all the diverse elements together is the sprightly vocalist Belle du Berry, who’s joined by Australian trumpeter/keyboardist David Lewis, jazz bassist Emmanuel Chabbey, French drummer François Jeannin, and Potzi, an Algerian Gypsy guitarist whose virtuosic style and natty appearance recalls Django Reinhardt. Formed in the early 1990s, the group had its origin in the retro review Champêtres de Joie, which performed in the historic Berry Zèbre cinema in Paris’ Belleville district and collaborated with renowned choreographer Philippe Decouflé at the closing ceremony of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. The band recorded four studio albums and a live session while touring the world incessantly until disbanding in 2005 to pursue other interests. Regrouping for their first album in six years, Paris Combo recently released 5, a session with all surreal humor, showmanship, and irresistible bounce that have come to define this entrancing quintet. They return to SFJAZZ following their triumphant, sold-out appearance last spring.
Belle du Berry vocals
David Lewis trumpet, flugelhorn, piano
Emmanuel Chabbey bass
Françoise Jeannin drums, vocals